A successful recovery from any plastic surgery procedure will depend on a variety of factors. It always helps to stay informed and prepared so you can schedule the time you need to rest and rejuvenate.

Whether your surgery is minimally invasive or highly corrective, your tissue is being manipulated. This will always take a toll on your body. Most people find that they are less energetic than usual for about two weeks.

But how much time you need to rest can differ from procedure to procedure. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular cosmetic procedures at Charlottesville Plastic Surgery and how long you’ll need to recover.


Facelifts can cause moderate bruising and swelling in the face and neck area after surgery but the swelling typically peaks around day three. You will want to rest for the majority of this time. It will take about four to six days post-op for the swelling to fully go down.

You will be given a compression garment to help ease swelling and bruising and promote proper healing.

You may also feel some numbness, tingling, and tightness for the first two weeks. You can plan on feeling better and returning to your regular activities at this two-week mark.

Brow Lifts and Eyelid Rejuvenation

Brow lifts and eyelid rejuvenation procedures have many of the same recovery issues as facelifts but on a much smaller scale. You should expect swelling three days after the surgery but after that, it should start dissipating. Even though these procedures do not typically cause noticeable discomfort, you will be prescribed pain medication to ensure you’re comfortable.

It is recommended that you don’t wear contacts for one to two weeks after surgery. Many people experience dry eyes and blurred vision but this will clear up in a few days to a week.


Rhinoplasty surgery requires cartilage manipulation and typically takes four to six weeks to fully recover from but it can take a full year to see the final results as the swelling tapers off. For recovery, you will be given a splint to wear to help minimize swelling and maintain the new shape of your nose. You’ll wear this for one to two weeks.

Many people can return to non-strenuous activities after one month, but you’ll want to avoid lifting anything heavy for four to six weeks.


With abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck, the recovery time can vary depending on your age, health, and the type of tummy tuck done. That said, most patients feel back to normal and can resume any exercise and working out after eight weeks.

Immediately after surgery, a drain will be inserted to ensure fluid doesn’t back up around the incision. You will also be given a compression garment to wear and you’ll need to use it for at least six weeks. You can typically return to work after one to two weeks.

Breast Surgery

How long you need to recover from breast surgery depends on a variety of factors, including the type of breast surgery you have. The specific recovery time can differ for breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction with a breast augmentation taking about four weeks to fully recover. You’ll want to avoid lifting heavy things and doing strenuous activities during this time. You will likely feel back to normal after 3 days, but will want to stick with the restrictions, as it could effect your implant placement in the long run.

Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to work, but one week is usually more than enough time off.


Most patients need to wear a compression garment after liposuction to help with swelling, bruising, and healing. You’ll need to wear it for three to four weeks.

You will also experience some soreness for a few days after the procedure, but Dr. Willis will prescribe pain medication to ease any discomfort.

You’ll also want to limit your activity levels for at least four weeks to prevent any fluid from accumulating. You can return to work after a few days unless you have a physically-demanding job. It typically takes about six months to fully heal and see your final results.


After gynecomastia surgery, you will likely feel sore but this discomfort will diminish after a week or so. Dr. Willis will prescribe pain medication to ensure you don’t have to deal with too much discomfort.

While you will want to avoid lifting and carrying heavy objects for about four to six weeks, you can return to work after one to two weeks as long as your job doesn’t require strenuous activity.

Patients are required to wear compression garments for four weeks to aid the recovery process.

Schedule a Consultation

Dr. Willis and our team at Charlottesville Plastic Surgery are committed to open and honest conversations with each patient to ensure they know what to expect before, during, and after their surgery. If you’re looking to learn more about a procedure or want to find out how we can help you address a specific concern, schedule a consultation today! Call our Charlottesville, VA office at 434.478.1281 or use our online scheduling tool.

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